Death or victory

Mad Science Essential -- The Corpse Vanishes
Mad Science inessential -- The Atomic Brain

I’ve often wondered what might have lead to my writing something like this exchange in The Apsinthion Protocol.


It would be a one-way trip for whoever did it.


It would mean giving up everything in this world.


And possibly entering a far more wonderful one.


Or it might mean a few moments of ecstasy, and then annihilation.


And there is likely very little time to decide.

(In my bleak moments I often think that what Nanetta and Moira would eventually achieve — even if it was just blissful annihilation — would be superior to the alternative:  adulthood.)

One finds one’s erotic inspiration where one is.  Where I was for a lengthy stretch of young adulthood was Harvard’s Widener Library.  Had I had my druthers, the erotic inspiration would have taken the form of a studious-but-sultry meganekko but sadly there was a severe druthers shortage in Cambridge at the time and so I didn’t get mine.

There was, however, this mural executed by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925).

A doughboy embraces death and victory in the same moment.  (We know he’s victorious because there’s a defeated figure in a stahlhelm at his feet, presumably one of those nasty wicked Germans.)  At the time I would pass this mural daily (it’s on the library’s main entrance stairs) my conscious thoughts were that it was a singularly shameless bit of militaristic propaganda.

My subconscious thoughts, I conjecture, were on a different track entirely, thinking that maybe it’s cool — erotic even — to throw one’s life in like that.  It’s a natural interpretation — look at the soldier’s face, it’s expression and positioning under Victory’s bared breast.   It would explain a lot about the sort of things I’ve written.

Sargent didn’t do much in the more explicitly erotic line, although there is some, for example this study of a nude Egyptian girl.

Orientalist art — something I’ve found appealing before.